N is for Neutrality

| April 24, 2014

1. Some teachers make it a point to be neutral in their opinions (at least in front of students). The desire to be neutral stems from the idea that one does not want students adopting the beliefs of the teacher. They want all students to be able to formulate their own opinions without having the teacher’s beliefs thrust upon them. But if the teacher is teaching correctly, this should never be an issue. Instead, students will be able to make their own decisions, no matter how vocal the teacher’s opinions happen to be.

2. Neutrality is not equality, yet sometimes it seems as though they are used in conjunction with each other. While we strive for equality amongst all people, we do not necessarily want neutrality amongst all. A neutral people would be stagnant, accepting that which is given to them.

3. Net neutrality is a current issue that I don’t exactly understand, but I do know that its tenants are founded upon the idea that data, websites, and internet users should be treated equally. This deals with equality based on a neutral stance taken by ISPs and the government. “Net neutrality” has a better ring to it than “Net equality”.

4. Neutrality in education is a myth. Even those teachers who attempt to be completely neutral are taking a stance on the issue. They are promoting a viewpoint that is inherently political. The ideal of the “neutral teacher” is something that is propagated throughout the standardization of education. Many educational standards, especially nation-wide ones, attempt to limit the teacher’s input into the classroom. “Theoretically,” a proponent of these standards might say, “a student should be able to walk into a standard English classroom anywhere across the country and learn the same content.” This system desires for neutral teachers because a teacher with particular values and points of view will disrupt the classroom’s structure.

5. Neutral teachers produce neutral students. If students are unable to see their teachers as full human beings then how can a teacher expect students to learn to live in the world themselves as full human beings?

6. I don’t know what net neutrality has to do with this post, but it is the most pressing current issue using the word “neutrality.”